The Martial Arts Behind Hollywood’s Greatest Fights

April 29, 2016

How much better would “Shakespeare in Love” be if Gwyneth Paltrow had thrown a tornado kick or two into ole’ Billy’s jaw? Or how about a Muy Thai match in the second act of Titanic?

Alas, we must settle for the few gems a year Hollywood cranks out that feature heart-pounding martial art fight sequences. But how authentic are these martial arts, showcased by our favorite actors? We’ve all seen the behind-the-scenes footage where the sweaty actor claims to have spent hours on end training with an expert, but does all that training actually translate to film? The answer is surprisingly nuanced.

Most films that feature a lot of choreographed fight sequences frequently use a combination of many different martial art styles. Unsurprisingly, this is due to the fact that no one martial art looks that great on film. It takes a variety of styles to make the spectacular fight scenes that movie-goers love. Here’s an inside look at some of Hollywood’s most iconic uses of martial arts.

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    Muay Thai

    Do you find yourself always zoning out -- maybe even on the verge of falling asleep -- while you’re running on the treadmill? If you need to spice up your daily workout routine with something that will surely keep you awake and energized, give Muay Thai a try! Muay Thai, or Thai boxing, is Thailand’s national combat sport. Also a form of self-defense, it engages the entire body, focusing especially on a combination of the hands, feet, elbows, and knees as striking tools. A typical Muay Thai class involves training your footwork, movement, and balance, as well as your ability to throw and to clinch. Who needs a treadmill machine when you can transform your own body into a fighting machine?
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